Rainbow Dharma: Teachings and articles for, about, and by LGBTIQ Buddhists

Everyone struggles with questions about identity. For LGBTIQ people, those questions can be more pressing. We look at how Buddhist wisdom can help.

Lion’s Roar Staff24 October 2015

Our culture, thankfully, is increasingly embracing the fact of diverse sexual and gender orientations. Yet everyone—gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex, asexual, cis, straight—struggles with questions about identity. It’s easy to interpret the Buddha’s teachings on emptiness as meaning that sexual or gender identity is irrelevant. But that’s simply not true.

As Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara argued in her November 2015 Lion’s Roar teaching, identity may be empty, but it also forms the basis of how we act in the world. Intimately understanding both the personal and impermanent sides of identity is vital to practicing the Buddha’s teachings. Furthermore, writes O’Hara, Buddhist practice can help us deconstruct society’s narratives about who we are and who we should be.

Our feature series on Rainbow Dharma includes a collection of personal stories on LGBTIQ dharma. Read three of them right now:

How Far We’ve Come, by George Takei

In the extended online version of his print article, George Takei tells how Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hypocrisy compelled him to come out.

Getting to Ellen, by Ellen Krug

For Ellen Krug, a dharma teacher’s encouragement helped change everything.

Also from the November Shambhala Sunread the extended online version of our Q&A with Senses Fail frontman Buddy Nielsen, in which the post-hardcore vocalist discusses how Buddhism helped him understand his sexuality.

Lion s Roar Staff

Lion’s Roar Staff

Lion’s Roar is the website of Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly the Shambhala Sun) and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, with exclusive Buddhist news, teachings, art, and commentary. Sign up for the Lion’s Roar weekly newsletter and follow Lion’s Roar on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.